Thursday, March 27, 2008

FRIEND OF THE DEVIL by Peter Robinson (2007)

I've been a fan of Robinson's Detective Banks since I picked up GALLOW'S VIEW, one of his earliest novels, probably 15 years ago. In FRIEND OF THE DEVIL, there are two murders of young women--both grisly. The first, a 30-something quadruplegic, has had her throat slit and left to bleed to death slumped in her wheelchair on the beach, and the second, a university student is raped, gagged and strangled moments after she parts from her drunk friends after a night out on the tiles.

Robinson complicates the first case by revealing that the victim was a serial killer herself, in a case that seems all too eerily akin to Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo, especially when you remember that Homolka was known for "making a deal with the devil" in her efforts for leniency in her sentence while her husband received life in prison for the murders of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy, two of the high school girls they tortured and murdered. While Banks and Annie Cabbot are investigating the separate cases, a third is murdered, but this time it's an officer, and more specifically a member of their own team who was apparently lurking in his off hours to try to catch the repeat offender.

FRIEND OF THE DEVIL moves to a thrilling conclusion. If you haven't read Robinson before, this would be a good place to start.

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